The Seven Checkpoints

The Seven Checkpoints: Seven Principles Every Teenager Needs to Know
(Stanley and Hall)

What I have found is that although this book is aimed at guiding teenagers, these principles allow people of all ages to progress toward faithfulness in the task of becoming authentic followers of Christ. Take a quick look…

1. Authentic Faith. This principle helps us to understand the difference between a second-hand and a first-hand faith. This is a primary reason many people abandon Christianity later in life. True faith has confidence in who God is; that He can be trusted and will do as He promised.

2. Spiritual Disciplines. How is your devotional life? How do you get to know God? How much time is spent desiring God? Spiritual transformation begins with a renewed mind. When you see God for who He is, you will do as He says.

3. Moral Boundaries. Clear moral limits are essential in any life stage. We must learn to protect our bodies and emotions by honoring God’s plan for morality (in relationships, movie choices, personal reading). The depth of intimacy with God and others is dependent on this principle. Purity paves the way.

4. Healthy Friendships. Our associations have a direct impact on our decisions and the standards we choose. Do friends build us up or drag us down?

5. Wise Choices. This principle will help apply godly wisdom to everyday choices between right and wrong. This principle will affect our goals and future dreams.

6. Ultimate Authority. There is often a disconnection between freedom and authority, but the Bible teaches that true freedom is found under authority. Freedom is not always doing what you please (saying “yes”) but having the strength and character to wisely choose “no.”

7. Others First. Selfishness comes naturally to all people, but selflessness has to be learned. This principle focuses on the nature of humility and service. So, how do you see yourself aligning with these principles in your own life? How will you impact eternity for those around you? At the gym? The people in our church and community? Or those with whom we have a business relationship?

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Cultivating Courage

I believe that God is calling for people of faith to courageously stand up for Him and His mission without the fear that binds us and drags us down to a level of mediocrity. Life is meant to be lived with boldness, not like a beer commercials but His faithful walking with the confidence that God is real, He has revealed His truth and will to us, and has given us a mission to accomplish.


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. — Winston Churchill

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. — Billy Graham

Decision is a risk rooted in the courage of being free. — Paul Tillich

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. — C. S. Lewis

Research has shown that one’s thought life influences every aspect of one’s being. Whether we are filled with confidence or fear depends on the kind of thoughts that habitually occupy our minds. — John Ortberg

Top 10 Steps to Cultivate Courage:

  1. Identify your calling.
  2. Identify your fears.
  3. Consider how your fears will thwart your calling.
  4. Consider the authority of Christ over your fears.
  5. Trust God’s ability rather than your limitations.
  6. Decide whether you want a life of compliance or rebellion.
  7. Always choose obedience in the face of fear.
  8. Join forces with other of similar calling.
  9. Remind yourself that God’s side wins.
  10. Embrace the adventure of a life of significance.